Spring Release


New Releases
2022 Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
2022 Pinot Noir, Radian Vineyard
2022 Pinot Noir, Bentrock Vineyard
2022 Pinot Noir, Duvarita Vineyard
2022 Pinot Noir, Collaboration (tasting room and club only)
2023 Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
2023 Rosé, Santa Ynez Valley

These wines are extremely limited
There’s only so much to spare of these wines as most of their case production is allocated to the current or upcoming Wine Club, so be sure to act fast.
Greetings from the Santa Ynez Valley:

As we move into the teeth of the growing season (bloom and the all-important set) we are ready for our Spring Release. In this release we feature some of our flagship single vineyard Pinot Noirs, such as the Radian Vineyard Pinot Noir, the new Rosé from the magical 2023 vintage, and the new 2023 version of the Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc.

We will talk more about 2023 in the coming months, but it was a terrific year, which was led off by a historically wet winter, a cool Spring, a warm to hot July and then a fabulous August and mild September & October. The almost perfect, long growing season gave us fantastic quality and (finally) some good yields in Sauvignon Blanc. The 2022, though delicious, has been sold out seemingly forever. We cannot recommend this wine enough in 2023.  It was almost impossible to make the selection for the single vineyard Sauvignon Blancs in 2023.

As for the single vineyard Pinot Noirs, we are thrilled with these wines, as they are balanced and complex, with lively acids and firm yet round tannins, while still demonstrating their individual terroirs.

**Wine Club Members, please note the Radian Pinot Noir will be in the Fall Club (October 2024).

The Wines

2022 Pinot Noir, Radian Vineyard

Fabulous, wild, dramatic, extreme, otherworldly.  These are some of the adjectives that come to mind when we think of Radian. The landscape is stark, steep, scraggly and covered in poison oak and chapparal. The steep slopes are battered daily by cold, salty, high winds, and the soils are parched dry and silty, with diatomaceous earth outcroppings and thin layers of sandy and clay topsoils that cling to the ground against the onslaught of the mighty Pacific.

Yields are frightfully low here, as tiny clusters dangle precariously within the small canopies. The small clusters though are immensely flavorful and full of complex savory, spice, and marine notes. We love the wines from here, a product of great vision and dedication by Matt Dees, Ruben Solarzano and the vineyard team there.

In 2022, the Radian grapes were harvested after the heat wave; in the cooler location the grapes had not been that close to ripeness.  There was some dehydration and vine stress, but with proper field sorting by us, the grapes that made it to the winery were in excellent shape.  The 2022 Radian was fermented on native yeasts, and the wine then aged on its lees for 18 months in French oak cooperage (40% new) before bottling without fining or filtration.

The 2022 Radian Pinot Noir is complex, with a dark red fruit profile (some black cherries and red plums, with raspberry liqueur, pomegranate), along with spices, and herbs (a distinct chapparal note) and the usual saline character from the ocean. The wine is graceful due to citrus and mineral laced acidity. It is a worthy successor to the 2021, which was lauded as a “wonderful wine” and given 97 points by Jeb Dunnuck, and 95 from Wine Advocate and Antonio Galloni as well.

Very Limited. Only 500 cases produced, most of which will go to the Wine Club in October 2024.  We have a small portion available for sale now. We suggest you get yours very soon or risk missing out.

2022 Pinot Noir, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard

Historic Sanford & Benedict is the original Pinot Noir vineyard (est. 1971) in the Santa Ynez Valley (Sta. Rita Hills was not established until 2001). We purchase fruit here from two distinct blocks of older vines (1999) and oldest vines (1972), buying by the acre so we may employ specialized pruning and organic farming practices. These stately vines stand tall on their enormous trunks, while still producing a solid crop of beautifully concentrated grapes. The resulting wines display sappy red and black cherry fruits with old-vine style and grace.

The 2022 wine showcases the old vine elegance of S&B.  The vineyard, with its thick trunks and deep roots, heroically withstood the massive 7-day heat dome of Labor Day 2022, with only minor effect. The wine maintains its typical smooth red fruited character, with perhaps a little more fruit in 2022, but with perfectly balanced acidity.  This wine is a worthy successor to the 2021, which received 96 points from Antonio Galloni who called the wine “gorgeous,” “beguiling” and “a wine of dimension and intensity.“

Extremely Limited. Only 350 cases produced.

2022 Pinot Noir, Bentrock Vineyard

Bentrock is the sister vineyard to Radian at the far western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills. We select grapes from several distinct blocks (two north facing, one south facing, one east facing) at elevations ranging from 375-525 feet above sea level. The wines from here display intense red fruits, gentle baking spices, herbs, and marine influenced minerals. Farming is Certified Sustainable (SIP) without herbicides.

In 2022, only the south and east facing blocks were ready at the time of the heat dome. The two north facing blocks were picked a full 2 weeks later.  In all cases, we dropped damaged fruit before harvest and carefully sorted at harvest, such that only pristine fruit made it to the winery. Despite the heat event the season was actually cool and acidities were again excellent. The wine was fermented with 20% whole clusters, and aged on its lees for 18 months in French oak barrels (25% new). The wine shows fresh, lifted, energetic red fruits, some baking spices and savory herb notes, good depth, and a wonderful silky texture in a medium bodied frame. Though the 2022 is not yet rated, the 2021 version earned 97 points from Galloni. We think this is a very versatile wine, and it could pair with anything (roast poultry, grilled meats, cheese, mushrooms, etc.)

Extremely Limited. Only 200 cases produced.

2022 Pinot Noir, Duvarita Vineyard

Duvarita Vineyard, just west of the Santa Rita Hills appellation, lies on south-facing slopes of almost pure sand. The grapes here are farmed biodynamically, without tilling and with sheep for weed management. Owner Brook Williams is fanatically motivated to limit inputs, and the vineyard is extremely low yielding. The small clusters here give wines that are lean and elegant, with terrific intensity, minerality and a remarkable depth of flavor even at lower alcohol levels.

2022 was another low yielding year at Duvarita, the maximum yield being 1.15 tons per acre, but it was better than 2021 in terms of vine heath and production. Being south facing and early ripening, we picked the Duvarita blocks (with one exception) well before the heat dome arrived. The very small crop we did harvest had remarkably good acidity and concentration. The wine was aged on its lees for 16 months in French oak barrels (30% new). Not yet rated, but the 2021 version was 94+, 95 and 96 points by Dunnuck, Wine Advocate and Galloni, respectively.

Extremely Limited. Only 170 cases produced.

2022 Pinot Noir, Collaboration (tasting room and wine club only)

Now in its fourth iteration, this wine was created in “Collaboration” with our Staff. The final blend of six barrels was crafted from more than a dozen barrels from several vineyards. Ultimately, the favorite blend contained wines that were 50% Bentrock Vineyard, 35% Radian Vineyard and 15% Duvarita. The final blend is made from mostly (95%) destemmed fruit from 100% neutral barrels.  No egos were harmed in the making of this wine.

We think the 2022 Collaboration shows exuberance, finesse and a joyous personality, with plenty of red fruit (raspberries, pomegranate) goodness, lifted by fresh acidity and some intriguing spices, with a hint of salinity.

The Staff enjoys selling it at the Tasting Room ONLY. Ask to try it when you are in town, and we are sure you will want to take some home. Wine Club members can call or email us if you want to have some shipped out to you.

Extremely Limited, only 150 cases produced.

2023 Sauvignon Blanc, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara

The great Happy Canyon blend has returned. The 2022 sold out long ago and we have been anxiously awaiting this wine in the Tasting Room and around town at top restaurants. A product of all four Sauvignon Blanc vineyards, this wine shows the true excellence of the Happy Canyon appellation; beautiful ripeness and dramatic fruit flavors held aloft by fabulous acidity and minerality and only a hint of the herbaceousness for which Sauvignon Blanc is (in)famous.

As always, top notch, per acre farming is the key here, as we prune and shoot thin for drastically lower yields than in the case of the conventional SB farming protocols. Concentration is dramatically more intense with this style of farming. For the Happy Canyon, we then choose lots that have a more energetic, taut, and lively character, along with the depth and concentration that these fabulous vineyards provide. The wine ages for a total of 7 months on the lees, before it is blended, cold stabilized with a light fining (plant and soil-based fining agents) and gently cross-flow filtered before bottling. The wine pairs with a tremendous variety of foods with weight and interest lifted by great structure and acidity.

The 2023 version of the Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc is 40% Grassini, 37% Vogelzang, 18% Grimm’s Bluff and 5% Two Wolves. The wine was aged in 72% neutral oak barrels and 28% stainless steel, with 85% Clone 1 and 15% musque. The wine is delicious out of the gate showing mixed tropical fruits, crisp citrus-laced acidity, minerals and a touch of fresh herbs.

The 2023 wine has not yet been rated, but the 2022 was widely loved by critics (92 Dunnuck, 91 Galloni).

As always, this wine is Very Limited. It has historically surprised us how fast it sells out. Also, it is ageable over the 2-9 year time frame, and even longer if you enjoy the nuttiness of aged whites. Highly recommended for this summer and many summers in the future.

2023 Rosé, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara

76% Grenache, 16% Mourvèdre, 8%  Graciano
60% Vogelzang Vineyard, 40% Two Wolves Vineyard
13.3% ABV

Good ole Rosé. Sure, it became popular. Then the USA became overrun with Rosés from all over the world (some with impossibly cheap prices from export subsidies). Then the youngsters and urbanites started looking for hip, cloudy, so-called natural wines. We soldier on nonetheless!  There is no better wine for summer with its warm days and lighter foods and hanging around outdoors.

This Rosé comes from fabulous vineyards, is farmed organically, is made simply but precisely in the same manner as always. The wine is freshness and sunshine in a bottle.   Enjoy!

In Conclusion

Please enjoy these wines in health and happiness, with family and friends, with great meals or without, and let us know how they made you feel. We love to hear from you! And come visit us in Los Olivos or Buellton. The green hills, blue skies, sunshine and cooling breezes are a great backdrop for tasting the terrific wines of Santa Barbara.